Projects

The Southern Initiative

The Southern Initiative (TSI) champions, stimulates and enables social and community innovation in South Auckland.

It is one of two major place-based regeneration programmes established in the Auckland Plan, alongside the city centre programme. It covers the local board areas of Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura.

With its unique model of enabling change, TSI is attracting a high level of interest and investment from central government, community, business and philanthropy groups.

It has become Auckland's go-to community and social innovation centre, developing a practice that empowers the community to thrive.

Enabling the community
Key focus areas
More information


Enabling the community

Image of children running in the park.

Almost 20 per cent of Auckland’s population lives in the area covered by TSI.

The population is youthful, primarily Pasifika and Māori, and abundant in assets, talent, creativity and opportunity. It also faces complex social, economic, cultural and environmental challenges.

The Southern Initiative aims to create, foster and support innovative social change by:

  • identifying local change makers
  • brokering relationships
  • procuring assets and services strategically
  • encouraging social enterprise
  • building community and individual capability
  • creating and supporting networks
  • supporting and amplifying community-driven initiatives.

To achieve this, we are working with a range of government, council, iwi, community and business groups, concentrating on three key focus areas:

  • employment and skills
  • whānau and families
  • entrepreneurship and enterprise.


Key focus areas

TSI concentrates on initiatives that produce high-quality, high-impact results.

Employment and skills

For the community to transform, it’s essential for its people to be equipped with skills and have access to meaningful and high-value employment opportunities.

Our vision is that South Aucklanders will be sought after in an increasingly globalised and technological world, because they are ahead of the curve.

Case studies:

  • Maori and Pasifika Trades Training - free trades training to Māori and Pasifika people, focusing on courses connected to council activities, such as infrastructure and construction. 
  • Youthfull – digital job opportunity platform targeting employers willing to accept applicants based on attitude and potential.

Whānau and families

Children and young people will shape the future of Auckland.

Our vision is that children and young people in South Auckland will be given the best start in life.

Case studies:

  • Early Years – co-design activity bringing parents and whanau together with staff from Auckland Council, Plunket and other agencies to understand the needs of parents and communities.
  • Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura  – a Ministry of Health initiative delivered in partnership with TSI, aimed at improving people’s health where they live, learn, work and play.

Entrepreneurship and enterprise

An entrepreneurial mindset encourages resourcefulness, creativity and vision.

Our vision is that South Auckland will become a leader in community-led economic development.

Case studies:

  • popUP South – community-led initiative offering a chance to sell Polynesian food and handicrafts.
  • Makerhood – a movement to help South Aucklanders grow and promote ‘maker culture’ – tinkering, fixing and creating.


More information

For more information, email the TSI team.

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